This article was originally published August 17, 2016. Boy, was I in for some serious tests of this hope! I have reworked and updated this post, but the Truth from God’s immutable words are still the same.
I feel as though I stand on a precipice and I am about to jump into a very deep pool. It is foggy, murky, and definitely unknown. I feel myself stretching out, feeling for something to grasp onto before I plunge into the water.
I create a plan for jumping in, gather up my courage, and then second-guess myself, and run away from the edge.
Practically, in my head, I know others have done this before. I can see plenty of others in the distant water, splashing and having fun – thriving in this foreign environment. They somehow jumped from the place where I am now perched and survived the fall, the crash into the water. And yet…
I still haven’t jumped in.
This is how I feel as my oldest child starts school later this month.
You see, she is not just starting school.
I, too, am starting school.
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Looking at Homeschool
We are standing on the precipice of the homeschool life. The one in which I add to my general homemaking routine the academic instruction of my child. You know, that general homemaking routine that can fall apart rather quickly. The one that includes attempting, rather unsuccessfully to keep my house in the order I prefer while nurturing a precocious 5-year-old, her all-most 4-year old wild-haired sister, and their just-crawling baby brother.
I have almost given up on the getting dinner on the table thing – they don’t need to eat this year, right?
This is my perch.
And I would lose hope, if not for the LORD. I would lose my mind, if not for His Holy Spirit. I would fail in every area I can think of, if not for Jesus.
Those divine resources are strapped to me like little floaties. And I am standing at the edge, trembling – just waiting for the first day of school.
It comes soon! I have to get ready! There is quite the plunge ahead!
A Partner in Anticipation
I was looking at Scripture this morning and without losing its context, I think it fits the situation I am in. It concerns a man who stood on a precipice, too. Only his precipice was far more precarious than mine. He had heard the Word from the LORD and it was not good. And now God put him on watch for His Word to be fulfilled.
He did not have anything good to look forward to. He was looking into the abyss of a number of years of hardship and defeat.
After he heard of what was coming, this is what he said:
I will stand on my guard post
And station myself on the rampart;
And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
And how I may reply when I am reproved.~Habakkuk 2:1
Here we find he has set his heart to wait for, listen to, and respond properly to the Word of God. Come what may, he will wait on the perfect Word of the LORD.
He takes it further the next chapter because he knows the difficulty of the trial ahead; but he is relying on the promises of God. He says this:
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail,
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold,
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.~Habakkuk 3:17-18
Did you catch that? Destruction, desolation, and potential starvation are not going to keep this man from not just trusting in God, but exulting in Him! And there is a BIG reason why.
A Reason to Have Hope
After he had positioned himself on his guard post, ready to hear the Word of God and obey it as best as he could: he heard something from God!
And the news was good! Really good!
He heard from God that He, the Holy One, would go forth for the salvation of His people! Finally, He would put away all the evil that would be coming. Eventually God would WIN!
But he knew he would have to wait on the victory from the LORD. And he would have to walk through the horrible road ahead. Thus in that hope – in view of that promise – he could exult in the LORD, even though there would be no physical signs of prosperity (no harvest ahead, no animals in the fold and the stalls).
What Habakkuk has to do with Homeschool
Ok, I know you must be wondering what any of this has to do with the homeschool journey. I promise you, I saw some hope for homeschooling there for me. And it is this: defeat is not necessarily cause for despair. My failures (as I am sure there will be plenty along the way in this homeschooling journey) are not the final word.
I am sitting here at the precipice of this homeschool abyss and I don’t know exactly what is coming my way. But I know (I really know) that God is worthy of my trust. Therefore, I am setting my heart to trust Him, to listen to Him, and to be obedient as I hear from Him.
Those days where there is no fruit – not even buds – I can look forward and exult in God, in hope.
Those days where the defeat of a dirty house and dinner from a drive-thru are just more reason to lean in and trust Him, listen to Him, and be obedient.
I am choosing today to set my heart on Him, to set my eyes on Him in this school year ahead.
I am choosing today to be diligent to be in His Word, so I can hear from Him.
I am choosing today to be obedient to Him – and when I fail to not lose heart or hope.
Are you starting a homeschool journey, too? Or a new season in your life?
Dear friend, I know Someone Who is worthy of your trust! And I pray that you will find the hope of His good Word. And the hope of His good Word will push you to exalt Him in this new season. May you be like Habakkuk as you, too, stand at your guard post and wait for the Word of the LORD, ready to hear and obey.
Here’s to the plunge!
For more information about our prayerful decision to homeschool, check out these posts: